While things were looking pretty obvious last week, we get a bit more mystery injected back into Shiki with episode 5. It certainly looks like we’re still dealing with vampires here – but a couple of twists are thrown into the mix. Though Natsuno clearly saw Megumi chomp on Touru’s neck, there were no bite marks – yet Touru died anyway. And bishie monk finds a common thread to many of the deceased – they quit their jobs just before they quit their mortal coils. But why? Do the undead possess that level of consideration for their employers?
Overall I found this episode less compelling than last week’s, though still very good. I’m not a huge fan of the focus on Masao (though that problem appears to have been solved) – he’s truly a grotesque creature. He’s so pathetic that he’s “Cartoonish” if you’ll pardon the expression, and seems to be a lesser creation than the other characters in the series. His misfortune this episode did seem to confirm the suspicion that the deceased are being recruited into the vampire army, though, as the ex-librarian made quite an entrance there at the end.
I’ve seen the theory advanced that the characters who turn into skeletons in the OP are the ones destined to die in the series – and based on that OP and 5 eps, that could be correct. I rather hope things aren’t that obvious, though. Even while I’ve espoused the theory that this is a tragedy rather than a mystery even I would hate to see that much given away so easily.